Tuesday, July 22, 2014



Welcome to Jimmy Smith's world - a 24/7 funhouse arcade, where reality shares a shaky co-existence with the creative process, as instigated by nefarious characters from Salvatore Dali to MC Escher. The locals call this place Phoenix, Arizona. Enter at your own risk.

Hey Jimmy, before we kick off this exhibition, can you throw us some bite-sized chunks of your history? We're always hungry for insight around here.

"I was doomed, born into a family of gearhead hot rodders. Early on, somebody stuck a pencil into my hand, and the first thing I drew was a car. Later, I went on to receive a bit of formal art instruction. I drew great inspiration from family and friends, all of whom share some form of artistic ability."

"Inspiration is where you find it. In my case, Sixties pop culture certainly molded (and possibly distorted) my outlook on things. I mean, watching Gilligan's Island and the Munsters all those years will definitely have a profound effect on one's psyche (not to mention all that model glue)."

"I'm amazed and truly thankful every day that I get to do what I do. Sometimes deadlines can be tight, but at the end of the day, it comes down to me taking responsibility for my actions. Being my own boss is a dream that I've had since serving in the print and sign industries. Now, with the support of a number of very good friends, I'm doing it! The people I used to read about, I now consider good friends. This segment of the automotive art world is full of great people - always there with great advice, or just good conversation. Every day brings great opportunities for new friendships and hot rod projects!"

"Today, you'll find me working on many ongoing art projects, or any number of internally combusted projects in the garage. That is, when I'm not spending time with my lovely wife Rachel and our two boys, Davey and Clay (that's right, Clay Smith). And our dogs, Henry and Sophie."

Thanks Jimmy. With that, we cut the ribbon on our latest installation, featuring the various stylings of America's favorite desert rat, James Smith - known to "hipster dufus types" as Jeem.





As seen in the award winning Salton Sea Shakedown video (ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_CysYAhkro).If the award was for Best Meyers Manx with Backward Flames in a Starring Role, we concur!

Jimmy's mild custom '64 F-100 is but a bittersweet memory now: "Rest in peace."

Smith's '37 Ford pickup project (as seen on last week's blog in glorious 2-D) has recently been resuscitated and is coming along nicely: "My current heap, to be on the road this January!"

"The '63 Dart stand-in daily driver."

"The great Lance Sorchik and some schmuck, after our little art exchange."

Jimmy is the consummate professional. Contact him with your art needs and prepare for success: www.jimmyshotroddesign.com/602-330-4318 (Photos and images courtesy of Jimmy Smith)



Are you just sick of hearing about Jim Lindsay's Modified Roadster project? Well, you're in luck, because time is slithering away from Jim and company as their Speed Week deadline approaches. The rear-engined blown fuel flathead hopeful left Marty Strode's House of Thrash last week, but Lindsay and friends are keeping the momentum in motion.

Lindsay had Strode's tubes covered in a secret anti-salt coating at Aaron McClinton's shop...

... and has now begun the final assembly. This is destined to be a photo finish. Look for that photo right here. (Photos courtesy of Jim Lindsay)



The SGE Model A Sport Touring project ambles on. An efficiency experiment at Dr. Lockjaw's Custom Metal shop last week produced actual results! Doc did his magic on the front spring perch, while I dealt with rolling stock, in preparation for setting final ride height. It seems we get more done when out of BS range of each other. Who knew? Further testing will be required, of course, but isn't likely.

Ridiculously vertical front spring perch, where we left off the previous week...

Much better now, after Doc attacked it with TIG and file. We'll make a nice top plate for it next week. Meanwhile, we've both grown to hate the overpriced custom made main leaf with unbridled passion. Hopefully, we can clean it up somewhat.

Nice work, Doc! Take five. Okay, that's enough. Back to your customer cars.

It was a week of frantic logistics, but I got my '35 wires blasted...

... painted with our signature stainless steel spray paint...

... and sealed against leakage with a 1/8th inch layer of urethane. Suddenly, I'm three years old again - enthusiastically creative, but messy...

... and I got my Chinese rear tires mounted. I know. Call me a communist sympathizer if you want, but they're tubeless radials, at a third of the cost of any available "nostalgia tire". Radials?! Remember, this car is being built for cross country driving. Non-haters may like to know that these 265/70R-16s are a product of Pro Meter, readily available at your local tire store. Mine were $110 apiece (mounted and balanced) at Quality Tire, just down the street from SGE Headquarters. They look absolutely huge in person, but measure 30 1/2" tall. Tread width is a husky eight inches (section width is 8 3/4"). They take up most of the room in my 10' X 10' living space. Next week: The dirt on some skinny front tubeless radials I found that also vaguely have "the look", yet are within this humble scribe's malnourished budget. (Scotty shots)



Many Americans consider it a travesty that our national symbol receives such little respect these days. Even "D.C.", the official White House squirrel (pardoned by President Jimmy Carter in 1978 after devouring most of the First Lady's prize rose bushes), has feared for his safety in recent years, as drivers on cell phones fail to heed the crossing sign in front of the White House.

One of DC's direct descendants (name withheld) was recently photographed in a Virginia emergency room, after being run over by an errant taxi cab - on the White House lawn! The juvenile squirrel suffered multiple fractures, cuts and abrasions in the hit-and-run incident, but is once again mobile, with assistance from a short cane and continued physical therapy. The tax dollars lost via this single incident could have funded a local one hour driver awareness program.

This tri-level Proto fold-out was a five dollar yard sale score by Meteor Man on the HAMB. We estimate maximum squirrel capacity at roughly 12.7 units.

Motormouth Ray is on assignment at The Serious Cruise in Syracuse (New York). Look for his comprehensive coverage next week.


Jimmy Smith would like to take this opportunity to thank his sponsors for putting him in the Winners Circle...